Building in a sustainable way means different things in northern Europe and Africa – why do you think that is?Photographs: The Earth as seen from space. Snow over northern Europe. NASA
Blue planet - our home!Earth came into being around 4.6 billion years ago. Man has inhabited earth for about 2.5 million years, and modern man for 70,000 years. At first people were few. They lived scattered about in small tribes, gathering food, hunting and fishing. They used natural resources sparingly and sought shelter mostly in caves. As they increased in number, permanent settlements gradually began to spring up that relied on the production of food through farming the land. This new way of life gave rise to new needs. It became necessary to build structures to store crops and homes for people. Little by little, villages and towns grew up in suitable places. Nowadays, there are almost 6.5 billion people, and their activities have an effect on earth and its well-being.
Earth, air, and water – how can we preserve the conditions for life on earth? How can we preserve the possibilities to live and build, now and in the future? How can we build while upholding the principles of sustainable development? Should we use renewable natural resources and old building methods that have proved successful or should we set our sights on technological development and new innovations? There is no one right way to apply the principles of sustainable development – several options are open to us. We need small, local acts in our day-to-day lives as well as wide-ranging, global shifts and everything in between. Will we be able to ultimately re-establish harmony between nature and building? Can living greenery be spared? We are all decision-makers! How do you make use of your opportunity to get involved and make your voice heard?